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Friday, April 28, 2006

Thirty Ghanaian journalists attend ICT training programme in Accra

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Thirty Ghanaian journalists attend ICT training programme in Accra
A group photograph of participants with the President of the GJA, the French Ambasador to Ghana and Mr D.A. Kwapong, Acting Director, Ministry of Information.

The French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Pierre Jacquemot has stressed the need for local Ghanaian journalists to acquire knowledge of trends and developments in Information Communicaiton Technlogies (ICTs), so as to help improve the quality of their work.
This, he said was critical in helping to accelerate Ghana’s development as well as its integration into the global Information Society.Speaking at the opening of a three-day training workshop to help improve the capacity of Ghanaian journalists on ICTs in Accra, Mr Jacquemot said ICTs have become a powerful means of development and social change for the economic and social development of the world.The training programme was designed by PenPlusBytes, an International Institute of ICT Journalism, with the view to introduce the journalists to new ICT tools and make maximum use of the tools that local media practitioners are already familiar with.The workshop was on the theme, ‘Training Ghanaian journalists for the Information Society".
About 30 journalists from all over Ghana.attended the course.Topics such as Ghana’s ICT for Accelerated Development Policy, Knowledge Management for the Media, Afrocentric Content on the Internet and ICT Journalism were treated at the course.Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, out-going President of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) said the training programme was timely because many of the country’s media houses have prioritised ICT development and staff training but are hampered by a lack of the necessary resources including funds.She noted that the national desire for accelerated development and its achievement is intricately linked to how well journalists understand and use these technologies in their work.
"If we are to quicken the pace of our country’s development then we need to build the capacity of Ghanaian journalists in this very important sector (ICT)", she said. Mr. D.A. Kwapong, Acting Director, Ministry of Information, speaking on behalf of the Information Minister said, "the globalised world demands that the journalist is a leader in Information Society issues. It is in this light that I consider this course as invaluable. It also confirms the complementarity of private sector initiatives to the achievements of one of the three policy areas of government – Human Resource Development." Indeed, although Ghana is one of the most wired countries in Africa, there is a noticeable low use of new media technologies and poor reporting of ICTs in general, he said and added that presently not all Ghanaian media houses are connected to the Internet for example and that those that are even connected are under-utilising the ICTs to enhance their work.Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, President of PenPlusBytes expressed the hope that participants will acquire new essential tools and skills to improve the quality, content and the relevance of their work to the public. The Accra workshop was sponsored by the French Embassy in Ghana and Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS).
The training programme for journalists is the sixth of such training courses designed and delivered by PenPlusBytes across sub-Saharan Africa over the last three years.PenPlusBytes is currently pioneering the first ever online course on ‘Introduction to ICT Journalism’ in Africa. 43 journalists from nine countries spread across three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe) are attending the eight week course which started on March 20, 2006.

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